Royalties

Clueless director Amy Heckerling is the latest major “get” for Quibi, the short-form streaming platform that’s set to launch early next year. She’ll direct all ten episodes of a new comedy series called Royalties that’s set in the world of music, using the satirical skills she’s sharpened over the course of her career to skewer the music industry. Here’s what we know about the show.

Deadline reports that Heckerling has officially found her next directing job: she’ll be one of the key creative forces behind Royalties, serving as the project’s sole director. It sounds like this may have been something of a last-minute hire, because filming begins this week in Los Angeles.

Darren Criss (Glee, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story) and Kether Donohue (You’re the Worst) star in the new show, which is described like this:

Royalties is a satirical take on the oft-untold story of songwriters behind the world’s biggest hits. It follows the ascent of a ragtag songwriting duo – Sara (Donohue) and Pierce (Criss) – as they navigate the strange and hilarious challenges of creating a truly great song, week after week.

Each episode will feature real-life entertainment personalities portraying fictitious (and ridiculous) music stars, along with original songs penned by Criss.

The short form approach may theoretically make it easier to snag high-profile real-life stars for cameo roles. And if you’ve been tracking Darren Criss’s career, you know he’s an accomplished musician and songwriter himself; if you haven’t, you may have seen him belt a few tunes on Glee or in his role as the Music Meister on The Flash. He’s a good fit for this, and he’ll co-write and executive produce the show with Nick and Matt Lang, who co-founded a group called Team Starkid with Criss that made several shorts on YouTube which garnered acclaim.

Heckerling has directed two of the greatest high school comedies of all time (Clueless and Fast Times at Ridgemont High), but she hasn’t directed a movie since 2012’s Vamps. Since then, she’s spent lots of time directing television, and this will mark her first venture into short-form content territory.

Quibi is the new streaming platform that’s being specifically designed for mobile devices, and it will feature short 7-10 minute chunks of content (including shows like Royalties, and content from directors like Steven Spielberg, Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Catherine Hardwicke, Guillermo del Toro, and more) in the hopes of capturing viewers’ short attention spans. Quibi launches on April 6, 2020, but there’s no word yet on when Royalties might premiere.

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